Jordan camps for Syria refugees get community police patrols

?A new community police assistant on patrol talks to a young Syrian refugee girl in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Community police have begun patrolling the alleys of Jordan's two main camps for Syrian refugees, hearing grievances and trying to spot problems. The new police assistants are retired Jordanian officers trained in a British Embassy program. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (AP) — Community police have begun patrolling the alleys of Jordan’s two main camps for Syrian refugees, hearing grievances and trying to spot problems.

The new police assistants are retired Jordanian officers trained in a British Embassy program.

Wearing neon-yellow vests, they toured the Zaatari camp of 80,000 refugees Monday on foot. A van doubles as their mobile office.

Deployment also began in Azraq camp.

It’s the first time security officers regularly patrol in camp neighborhoods.

Zaatari camp manager Hovig Etyemezian says he hopes the 26-member strong mobile force will build trust and that “refugees will reach out'” to the officers before conflicts escalate.

More than 4 million Syrians have fled their country since conflict erupted there in 2011. Jordan hosts about 630,000 Syrian refugees, including about 100,000 in camps.

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